Public transport must always be affordable, accessible and reliable choice

The Scottish Government's Fair Fares review is an important step on our journey.

The Scottish Government's Fair Fares transport review is “an important step on our journey to a fairer, greener future for transport”, says Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell.

Among the recommendations in the review are

  • Developing proposals to introduce a national integrated fare structure
  • Developing a proposal for a bus flat fares pilot scheme
  • A pilot project to extend free travel on rail services for companions accompanying eligible blind people
  • A proposal to provide free foot passenger travel on inter-island ferries for under 22-year-old island residents
  • Establishing a National Forum on the Future of Public Transport to coordinate improvement of delivery of a quality, accessible, available and affordable integrated public transport system.

Mr Ruskell said: “This is an important step on our journey to a fairer, greener future for transport. Free bus travel for under 22s, older and disabled people will continue to make our bus services the most accessible in the UK. Building on that huge success, a trial fares cap on buses will give the government the evidence to consider bigger changes for all passengers.

“From a commitment to deliver integrated ticketing to free ferries for young people, these recommendations will help boost and expand public transport across our country ensuring it is a more affordable, accessible  and reliable choice that doesn’t cost the earth.

“This week’s Climate Change Committee report emphasised the scale of the challenge we face and how rapidly we need to act. Transport is our biggest source of carbon emissions and we need to be bold about how we address the cost gap between driving and public transport if we are to encourage people out of using cars.

“We must make the investment that is needed in high quality modern infrastructure. A big part of that is ensuring well-served bus and train routes, but also flexible and integrated ticketing systems like the ones outlined in this report which are badly needed across Scotland.

“The key thing we will be judged on is delivery. That means turning words into action and delivering a more affordable and sustainable transport system that works for our climate and our communities.”